Graduate student resources

  • MA students in a free-standing program are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office for a list of available resources.

Registration at the Graduate School is a two-part process that consists of registering for individual courses and registering for Residence at the University (RU). All students must complete BOTH parts of the registration process.

  • Students in all degree programs are required to register in each fall and spring semester until all degree requirements have been completed or until the time-to-degree limit has been reached. 
  • Enrollment is the completion of the registration process and affords the full rights and privileges of student status.

Students must petition for Transfer Credit within their first semester of registration.

The Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) will consider, in consultation with other faculty, whether the previous training is equivalent to what is required of our M.A. recipients. Students will submit the Application for Transfer Credit and relevant materials to the department’s DGS.

Early in the fall semester, Butler Library offers orientations on research at Columbia and navigating the numerous databases available to Columbia students.

Letters of introduction (Blue Seal Letters) needed to conduct research off campus are easily obtained through the Department Chair, Director of Graduate studies, or the Graduate School.

Students are encouraged to participate at conferences and to apply for funding to assist with the associated costs (travel, lodgings, application fees). The Department will fund up to $2,000 in reimbursement en-route to the PhD degree and up to $600 for MA-only students. 

Application for consideration is required before conference participation. Contact the Director of Graduate Studies with the following:

  • Conference description
  • Copy of participation invitation, or program page (NB: if you have not yet heard from the organizers about your invitation to speak, you may still apply for funding, which may be approved conditionally)
  • Budget outline

Students are encouraged to choose conference participation carefully, it is not recommended to access the funding aggressively in Y1-3 (except for MA-only students).

The Étienne Balibar graduate essay prize will be awarded annually for the best essay in cultural and political theory by a Columbia Masters or PhD student in the Department of French and/or the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. The essay must be completed within the past 18mos. It can be previously published as the winner will not be published in the Gadfly (an undergraduate journal.)

Eligibility requires that you are or were a student in either the Department of French or ICLS during the current academic year. If you graduated during the academic year, you may still submit for this prize.

Each prize recognizes the important contributions that political philosopher Étienne Balibar made as a scholar and teacher during his twelve years as a visiting professor at Columbia University. Submissions are invited on all areas of cultural and political thought, in particular topics explored by Étienne Balibar e.g., nation, citizenship, borders, migration, globalization, world systems, race, class, and the legacies and applications of Marx and Marxism. There are no restrictions with respect to methodology or disciplinary approach.

Submissions may be based on previous coursework or on a thesis/dissertation chapter. The expectation is that the essay was written within The prescribed length is 8 to 20 double-spaced pages for undergraduate submissions, and 10 to 30 double-spaced pages for submissions by graduate students. For papers in other languages, please provide an English translation with the original.

Please clearly include your name, department, as well as your year in the undergraduate or the graduate program.

Please follow the Chicago notes & bibliography citation format.

All submissions will be evaluated by a committee of faculty from the Department of French and the Executive Committee of ICLS.

Note: There will also be student representation from the Gadfly magazine for evaluation of the undergraduate essay, which will publish the winning undergraduate essay.

Submissions must be sent electronically as a PDF by May 30, 2024 with “LAST NAME- Étienne Balibar Essay Prize” in the subject header. Please submit essays to: [email protected].

Questions may be addressed to Julie Stevens, DAAF, Department of French ([email protected]) or to Sarah Monks, Assistant Director, ICLS ([email protected]).

Each winner will receive a prize of $600.

Career resources for MA and PhD students are available through the Center for Career Education.

Career services: GSAS Compass

Department of French: placement record

Additional PhD resources

GSAS Center for Teaching and Learning provides ongoing workshops and opportunities.

Limited carrel is space available to graduate students in Butler Library. GSAS sets the basic requirements for awarding carrels; students must have earned the MPhil, be within six years of first date of registration, and have the department’s support.

Students that meet the criteria will submit a brief proposal to the DGS outlining the expected progress.   Priority will be given to students that have a Dissertation Writing Fellowship (DWF) during the year of award.

  • Grants and Fellowships Workshop 2022-2023 (PDF)
  • Grant and Fellowship Listings (PDF)

Students in the process of writing the dissertation are encouraged to become familiar with The GSAS Writing Studio's support programming.

Please access the DISSERTATION TOOLKIT to review information concerning fellowships & awards; dissertation guidelines & resources.